If you’re looking for signs of encouragement after a disappointing loss right before the first Duke game of the year, we’ve got you covered! Here are some statistical nuggets that through either repeatable patterns, utter randomness, or divine intervention could give UNC a leg-up against the Blue Devils on Saturday night.
Following the loss to Connecticut where he shot 0-6 from three, Cormac Ryan followed it up with his best shooting performance of the season. Against Kentucky, he shot 66.7% from the field and was 4-7 from three, finishing with 20 points.
Ryan was 3-10 from the field against the Huskies, slightly better than the 3-14 he was at Georgia Tech. If superstitious math holds, that means he’ll score more than 20 points against the Blue Devils.
The freshman point guard dynamo has steadily improved throughout the season, probably most on the defensive end. At Georgia Tech, Cadeau was whistled for five of the most suspect fouls you’ll ever see, all in the second half. He has fouled out twice in his UNC career before in back-to-back games against Villanova and Arkansas.
After the Arkansas game, Cadeau had his national coming-out party against Tennessee where he had the Tar Heel offense absolutely humming against the then #2-ranked KenPom defense. He had ten assists against the Volunteers as Carolina put 61 points up in the first half and cruised to their first biscuit game of the season.
As long as the refs don’t call the same Charmin soft fouls that they did in Atlanta, Cadeau should see more playing time and hopefully gets the Heels back in fourth gear on offense. One concern about those soft fouls? Famous Duke supporter Ken Jeong has recently become a spokesman for Cottonelle. Stay tuned…
Bacot went 4-8 from the field against Georgia Tech. The last time he shot 4-8 was against Florida State in the ACC opener. In the next game against UConn, Bacot finished with a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. He added a tidy 5 assists and only had one foul and one turnover.
If Bacot can replicate that line against Duke, Carolina wins the game going away.
Trimble’s minutes have been pretty consistent in ACC play, hovering between 14 and 23 minutes. With Cadeau’s foul trouble against Georgia Tech, Trimble played 22 minutes, but had a poor night shooting, going 2-7 from the field (0-2 3PT) and just 2-5 from the free throw line.
The last time he played 22 minutes and shot this poorly was against Oklahoma. In the following game, he came back to the Dean Dome and shot 60% from the floor for 12 points and grabbed six rebounds against Charleston Southern in just 20 minutes.
Trimble returns to Chapel Hill for the first Duke game, and if he compliments RJ Davis and Cadeau with double-digit scoring and 4+ rebounds, Carolina should be on good footing.
When Carolina has lost this season and had another game in a normal schedule rotation (disregard the Kentucky loss, which came a whopping 11 days after the UConn loss), they have followed them up with big wins over ranked opponents. After losing to Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis, UNC beat then #20 Arkansas by 15, and after the Kentucky loss, the Tar Heels beat then #7 Oklahoma by 12.
Hopefully after the Georgia Tech loss, Carolina will repeat history and beat their next ranked opponent by double-digits. The math obviously checks!